Tuesday, May 16, 2006

One of Those Problems You Like to Have

My son felt sick much of Sunday evening and couldn't sleep. Which meant I couldn't sleep. Consequently, neither of us felt too good yesterday morning (if you count a fatigue-induced queasy stomach and cotton head as "not too good"). He has MCAS this week and needs to be well-rested, so I made the executive decision that a fifth grader should not go to school on five hours of sleep and with an upset stomach. Fortunately, I had my laptop and a load of work for home, so I stayed, too, nursing my cotton head. (Good call on my part, too--he took a seven-hour nap yesterday, starting at 2 p.m.)

Every other Monday is the day my cleaning service comes. It's my biggest luxury. I'm not really a high-maintenance person in most ways--no manicures or pedicures (except the self-applied kind), very little makeup, no spa days, rarely blow dry my hair, and so on. It's not that I have any problem with other people doing these things, it's more that I can't be bothered.

Ever since I was diagnosed with a chronic GI illness 10 years ago, however, (thankfully in remission right now), my husband has insisted we get a cleaning service to save my energy for family and work. Just twice a month, just for the heavy-lifting things--vacuuming, bathrooms, etc. We still do the straightening, which is considerable in the cluttered SFNE compound. And of course, on a day-to-day basis, the dishes and laundry don't wash themselves, if you catch my drift. Nevertheless, as the ad says, "it's nice to come home to a clean house" (and no, we don't use that service)--at least every couple of weeks.

The problem I refer to in the title above is the one that occurs whenever we're home when the cleaners arrive. They're very nice--though I think their English is about on par with my Portuguese, so smiling goes a long way--but I just feel like I'm in the way. I'm not supposed to be here when they clean. I'm usually at work.

Is it an underlying unease about having someone do my housework? After all, I didn't grow up with household staff (except my mom, of course). Realistically, I don't think that's it, though. I'm paying decent money to people who need it who do their job--cleaning--better than I can, or even wish to.

When you get down to it, I think it's just a general feeling that I'm an obstacle to their work. I end up having to move from room to room with my laptop, while they apologetically ask if it's "okay?" to clean the room I'm in. Of course it's okay. I'm the one who shouldn't be here. I'm one of those people who absolutely hates keeping others from the proper completion of their rounds--hates being a bother unnecessarily. (Notice I said "unnecessarily"--there are many exceptions to the "no bother" rule.)

I guess I just have to get over it. Or, better yet, talk to my son about timing his illnesses. Nothing on Sunday night or Monday morning when it's the cleaners' day.

There. I'm feeling more relaxed already. Plus my house is clean, so it's all good.


Blogger clipper829 said...

Oh, I am the exact same way. Like you, we have the house cleaned twice a month - the heavy stuff (bathrooms, vacuuming, etc), while we (ahem, I) do the dishes, laundry, straightening, and the like. So, every other Wednesday, I scramble to find something to do, out of the house, with the baby.

My husband thinks I'm crazy, but I feel so uncomfortable being here while they are cleaning.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

LOL! I guess people who have household help around all the time get used to it, but I really feel like I'm getting in their way. It would sort of be like someone sitting next to me in my office, hanging over my keyboard while I'm trying to work without actually contributing anything of value. Like I said, not really a true "problem" in the scheme of things, but ... :-)

11:18 AM  

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